In its effort to hasten the pace of play, the NBA’s G League is testing a new policy for the 2019-20 season that will result in a single foul shot on all trips to the free-throw line, the league announced on Thursday. The single free throw would result in one, two or three points, depending on whether the foul is committed on an attempt that results in a made shot, a missed two-pointer or a failed three-pointer.
The policy has been discussed on the NBA level by the league’s competition committee and among head coaches, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. G League head of basketball operations Brad Walker told Lowe that the change is expected to reduce average game lengths by six to eight minutes — or just under two hours.
G League games will revert to normal basketball rules — a single free throw for an and-one and either two or three free throws for fouls respectively resulting in missed two- or three-point field goals — in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and all of overtime. This is an attempt to prevent teams from using the new rule to their advantage in efforts to erase a deficit by sending opponents to the line.
This move comes on the heels of the NBA adopting the G League’s trial of a coaching challenge, which conversely may result in lengthening the time of games.
Count me as befuddled by the latest G League trial. This will undoubtedly result in trailing teams committing more fouls in the fourth quarter, if not earlier, which in turn will change the game both from a strategy and an entertainment standpoint, not to mention how historical records will be impacted. Reverting to traditional rules for the final two minutes of games all but concedes that the rule creates these issues.
It seems like there are better ways to eliminate six minutes from a standard game, starting with the replay system. Anyhow, good luck with the new policy, G League.
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